MCM Selection

These days, most building owners and designers have come to realize that Metal Composite Material (MCM) is easily one of the most versatile building enclosure products on the market.  With its inherent benefits and performance, an ever expanding color palette, and its competitive pricing relative to curtainwall, stone, and terra cotta, MCM has become a go-to source for highly engineered wall claddings.

That said, not a single day goes by that we at Miller-Clapperton don’t come across specifications or drawings that try to force a square peg into a round hole by specifying or detailing this amazing product incorrectly.  The fact is, this leads to higher prices for owners because fabricators/installers such as ourselves have to build in contingency money for worst case scenarios that could have been avoided.

To that end, after years of frustration, we have produced what we feel is the definitive guide to selecting MCM.  It is comprised of seven key steps:

  1. Select manufacturers
  2. List fabricator requirements
  3. Choose attachment systems
  4. Choose material thickness
  5. Choose a material core
  6. Choose material finish
  7. Choose material finish coats

Please follow the link below to access this guide.  It is our hope that this becomes a resource for designers and helps propel this already successful product even further into the mainstream.

Thanks for reading.  Have a terrific weekend.

Scott Stafford

Project of the week:  Here’s an oldie from back in 2000 that we still really like. The project is 20 West Kinzie in Chicago. Seen in the background is the iconic John Hancock Center.





Thanksgiving Top Ten

I have much to be thankful for as I approach my 41st Thanksgiving tomorrow, but I thought I would focus on ten construction related things this week that I/we should appreciate more (if you’re also in the industry).  If you’re anything like me, you rarely, if ever, reflect on the good things.  Maybe this Top Ten list will help with that.

  1. I am thankful that the architecture Billings Index has indicated expansion in 13 of the last 14 months.  According to the AIA, there is an “approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending” on non-residential construction.  A rising tide lifts all ships.
  2. I am thankful for the advent of half size drawings, in-house printing, and electronic distribution of construction documents.  Anyone who remembers plan rooms and microfilm and actual blueprints will surely agree.
  3. I am thankful to work for a growing company that has hired (and is hiring!) this year.  I’m a news junkie and I read the statistics on our nation’s stagnant employment growth and I wonder how we avoided layoffs through the down years.
  4. I am thankful for the implementation of terrestrial scanning, which has greatly reduced re-makes for us.  It is truly amazing technology.
  5. I am thankful to live in a city that is about to start simultaneous construction of two stadiums (Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Falcons).  Like many, I question the need a little bit, but in excess of 10,000 construction jobs will be created and that is a positive.
  6. I am thankful that our core products, Metal Composite Material and High Pressure Laminate (Phenolic), have become so popular.  I am especially thankful for the many corporate identity programs that have embraced these wall claddings.  To name a few, Wal-Mart, Target, Ford, General Motors, and Toyota have all established a criteria for new (and existing) facilities that we have benefitted from.
  7. I am thankful for margin “creep.”  We’re not back to the glory days of 2007 and 2008, but after bottoming out in 2011 or so, we have seen a slow, but steady uptick in our profit margin.
  8. I am thankful for good paying customers.  We have some that string us out, but for the most part, we partner with solid companies that believe in doing the right thing.
  9. I am thankful for our vendors.  We deal in high quality products and on the rare occasion there is a defect, they are quick to remedy the issue.
  10. I am thankful for General Contractors who treat subcontractors with respect.  This cannot be said for many GC’s, but the good ones are to be valued.

Thank you for reading.  On behalf of the employees of Miller-Clapperton, I wish you and your families a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Scott Stafford 

Project of the week:  The recently completed Word of Faith Epicenter features over 60,000 square feet of Aluminum Composite Material in seven colors.  It is located just three miles from our office and we are very proud to have been part of the construction team for Brasfield & Gorrie, LLC.